Lebron James to (gasp) Cleveland...

Everyone was sick of the drama. Now it's over and it's a real shocker. To see a man loyal to his roots despite the intense acrimony surrounding his departure four years ago makes me think better of Lebron James. 

What hurdles did he face as he considered returning to Cleveland?

His wife and mother. James told Sports Illustrated:

To make the move I needed the support of my wife and my mom, who can be very tough.

To paraphrase Vladimir Putin, maybe toughness is not the worst quality for a mother. But why would James's wife or mom object to returning to Cleveland?

Again, James explains:

The letter from Dan Gilbert, the booing of the Cleveland fans, the jerseys being burned — seeing all that was hard for them. My emotions were more mixed. It was easy to say, "OK, I don't want to deal with these people ever again." But then you think about the other side. What if I were a kid who looked up to an athlete, and that athlete made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react? I've met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man. We've talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I've made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?

I'm impressed. I say that sincerely. Imagine all the souls who have left churches in bitterness over rebukes and admonitions from their elders or the older (Titus 2) women of their church who, like Bobby Knight, will never ever admit their sin. Will never ever return.

Home.

If any unforgiving heart proves an unforgiven heart, what is proven by an unrepentant heart?

For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. (Matthew 6:14, 15)

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.

Comments

Cleveland should sign Lance Stephenson now. Lebron needs someone to whisper sweet nothings in his ear...or at least blow in it.

A brother wrote pointing out that my parallel between James departing Cleveland four years ago and a man's departure from a church because of her admonishment or discipline was faulty. I agree. I did not mean to say James was wrong to leave Cleveland, but that there was some similarity between the difficulty of his return after being hacked publicly by owner Dan Gilbert (and many Cavs fans) and the return to the church of a man under discipline. Both require meekness and humility.

And forgiveness, although from opposite sides.

Love,

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